We want to again thank all of the board members from the membership organizations who attended the meeting Sunday night. We realize this cuts into family life and we know how much valuable time you already dedicate to your associations, so again, thank you for your participation and attendance.
The YLM strives to be a membership driven organization where changes are discussed openly and adopted by a majority vote. We hope that commitment was reaffirmed for those in attendance. YLM board members often have strong opinions on the issues brought before the members. It is often that passion that drives them to volunteer their time, but a majority vote by the combined board and member associations is what sets the direction for our organization.
Unfortunately, all the member associations meet with the board once per year at the annual meeting. During that large meeting, many topics are covered, but we strive to provide a forum where all sides are heard. Also, as we've seen so many times, much of the voting is split very closely down the middle. This mandates that changes are slow to occur. If all the votes were unanimous, running the YLM would be much easier. The fact is that many of the issues we addressed were relative closely divided making the input of the associations so much more important. Nearly every item voted on Sunday night has been a topic of discussion practically since the YLM originated. We realize associations have fluctuating needs. Your votes then decide how those needs are addressed.
Granted, YLM leadership may have been hesitant to suggest changes to policies that have been in place since 2005, but member organizations have always been welcome to present proposals at every AGM. For example, this was actually the third vote on grades vs age and private school participation and the fourth time the 9th grade vote has been taken. YLM policies are always put in place by the membership, not by the decisions of the YLM board. The Board has the task of implementing the policies as adopted. If the Board falls short of that duty, it should be held accountable at the AGM as well. Sunday, the membership voted in a number of new and changed operating policies and the Board will take that direction and do its best to implement those policies.
We are including a summary of the important dates, discussion and voted upon items:
Important Dates to Remember:
Jan 15 - Deadline for Association Dues to be Paid.
April 15 - Deadline to declare participation in “pre-season” play and pay team dues.
May 1 - Deadline for Association registration
May 2-3, 9-10, and 16-17 - One day “pre-season jamborees” at sites YTBD.
May 18 - Deadline for Associations to set the number of teams at each age level and division. Deadline for payment of team dues.
June 1 - YLM summer schedule to be posted.**
June 15 - Summer League games begin
June 21, 28, July 12, 19 - U-9 Sunday Games***
June 29 - July 1 - Rainout dates
July 25-26 - U-9 and U-11 jamborees at 4 sites YTBD
July 27-July30 District Playoffs
Aug 1-2 - U-13 and U-15 state tournament site YTBD
**The initial schedule will be out on June 1 however, schedules will change for many reasons. The expectation is that the first two weeks as fixed as possible. Changes will be made as needed/requested preferably no less than two weeks in advance. Any association making team additions or subtractions after that date, may only be scheduled for an 8 game season.
***With the addition of the U-9 jamborees, each U-9 team will play 4 games on Sunday evenings and 2 games Monday-Thursday.
1. The YLM will continue to operate as an age-based model.
2. Private schools will be allowed to field teams for 2015. A clearer definition will be provided to the private schools seeking participation shortly. That information will also be provided to all associations at that time.
3. Age-eligible 9th graders will be allowed to participate on U-15 teams as long as those players did not participate on a spring high school program at the 9th, 10th, JV or Varsity level. This stipulation does not apply to any age-eligible 8th graders.
4. Elections were held for 5 board seats. The following individuals were elected to two-year terms:
Deb Mau - Treasurer
Todd Blake - Secretary
John Saccoman - VP of Administration
Matt Dempsey - Director of Officials
Cory Childs - Burnsville - SE District Director (his nomination was accepted and will need to be ratified by the SE district)
5. The open West District Director position was filled following the meeting.
Jonathon Holmes - Minnetonka - West District Director (his nomination was accepted and will need to be ratified by the West district)
Topics of Discussion:
1. YLM pre-season jamborees. Associations may voluntarily elect to participate in any or all of the pre-season jamborees. The cost is $100 for each team for as many of the jamborees that you choose. There are no rules (outside of age level) on how those teams are formed. This allows associations the opportunity to have their players participate in monitored games prior to picking the make-up of your teams. We will be asking for association to volunteer to host these jamborees.
2. The YLM will officially sponsor the year-end U-9 and U-11 year-end jamborees (previously it was left to the districts). They will be held at 4 host sites. They will be in a pool-play format with a guarantee of 3 games. There will be a slight increase in the team fees at the U-9 and U-11 levels of $200. So the U-9 will now be $425 for the season and U-11 will be $650. We will be seeking volunteers for the host sites. Hosts will be able to retain any concession proceeds and the YLM will waive the additional team cost of $200 for that host site.
3. There will be a U-11 A division with a set game schedule. Fielding a U-11 A team is completely voluntary. Any association can field as many U-11 teams as they desire at the B level. The requirement to balance multiple B-level teams remains unchanged. Please keep in mind that selecting U-11 A will require additional travel.
4. The YLM has created a new email address to centralize all incoming communication. Any email received at that address will have a guaranteed response within 24 hours of receipt. We can not guarantee there will be a resolution to the issue, but you will be informed that it was received and to whom it will be forwarded. Please note the new address for future reference:
5. Currently, we are seeking to fill a vacancy for the North District Director. Anyone wanting to volunteer for this position, please feel free to inquire.
6. The new on-line coach training program will be introduced shortly.
7. We didn't have a chance to present the year-end financial report, so it is be posted on the YLM website under the documents tab.
8. Competing youth lacrosse leagues - It is the position of the YLM leadership that competing leagues do more harm than good for boys’ youth lacrosse in Minnesota. The framework for the established league is already in place. The YLM believes that if we all focus our energies on working together, the opportunity exists to create a stronger league with better operational efficiency. This would then facilitate the expansion of the league's reach and also allow us to collaborate to further assist associations with their own growth initiatives.
9. League fees remain the same for 2015, except for the $200 increase at the U-9 and U-11 levels to facilitate the year-end jamborees.
10. We will be adding a Communications Director to the board. It will be the responsibility of this individual to disseminate all YLM communications in a timely and efficient manner. They will also direct all incoming YLM inquiries, concerns and feedback to the appropriate YLM board member for response. Webmaster and Communications Director duties will be separate.
Thank you again for your volunteer participation for your associations. Your commitment to advancing boys' youth lacrosse in Minnesota is appreciated.